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Wounded Times

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Indiana joining list of states with Veterans' Court

Porter County court system to offer aid to combat vets


By JEFF SCHULTZ
Porter County Superior Court Judge Julia Jent says plans are in motion to make a veterans treatment court available in the county to provide troubled veterans with assistance instead of jail time.
Legislation was passed by the state last year that would allow the Indiana Judicial Center to certify veterans treatments court in any eligible county. The program falls under the umbrella of the Problem Solving Courts which includes drug court programs.
Jent, who is also a member of the state’s Problem Solving Courts committee, said the veterans treatment court will apply to combat veterans who have pleaded guilty to non-violent crimes or misdemeanors. The program also includes family members of the veterans.
Case managers will counsel defendants or participants in the program for alcohol and drug abuse, anger management and depression, similar to that of drug court. Many of the issues can be attributed to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder commonly experienced in some form by combat.
Those who work with the program until completion will be able to keep out of jail and some may even see their original criminal charges dropped from their record.
Jent said the program will also allow the judicial system to consult with the Army National Guard and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on the personal history of an individual vet to help determine what their needs are.
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Porter County court system to offer aid to combat vets

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